The City of Eternal Inspiration (a tour for the beginning artists)

The City of Eternal Inspiration (a tour for the beginning artists)

Tour with an exclusive visit to the studio of Natalia Tsarkova, Vatican’s official artist, portraitist of an international level, performing the orders of aristocracy including the Royal houses, state officials and cardinals.

Rome is often called the Eternal City. It is a city of eternal art and eternal inspiration. And your task is to get inspired, since you come to Rome not for just passive observation of its beauty, but also for learning how to capture it on paper with an innovative technology.During a week of staying here you will enjoy the Eternal City, passing step by step through all its artistic and historical periods and pathways of great artists who used to live and work there. Thus, you will be able to combine the practice – classes of painting at the most romantic places or in Rome’s viewing points with some theoretical experience of those ancient teachers.The historical experience will be supported by more practical and useful knowledge, such as how to distinguish the original works of art from copies. The experts of criminology and restoration will help you to learn about the basic skills of identifying fakes. Besides, you will acquire new knowledge in such unusual artistic techniques like renovations and mosaic.And finally, during our tour you will have a couple of interesting and very unusual meetings with the representatives of the World of Art: Igor Sava, a painter famous for his technique of watercolor and Natalia Tsarkova, the official portraitist of Vatican, an artist of international level.



  • Arrival to Rome
  • Welcome cocktail
  • Lunch
  • Sightseeing Tour in Rome (by bus), topic: «The Eternal City: 7 Periods of Its History & Art»
  • A visit to Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps with the artists ever working there, ending at the Plaza of Spain in Greco cafe, with its private gallery in a special hall, where you listen to a short lecture about the art of the Grand Tour, while having a cup of branded coffee and exquisite cakes.
  • Dinner


  • A master-class of drawing at the Gianicolo hill
  • Lunch
  • Excursion to the Vatican (4 hours). You will see Vatican’s rich heritage and the diversity of its collections, including those that are never exposed to the general public. Vatican has one of the largest and most diverse collections in the world, it is impossible to inspect all the halls, rooms and galleries. Our tour includes its most famous museums and galleries such as the Pinacoteca, the Museum of Greco-Roman antiquities, the Museum of Papal Carriages and “Papamobile” vehicles, the gallery of geographical maps, the hall of tapestries, Raphael’s rooms and, of course, the Sistine chapel (for which reason the people mostly visit Vatican). Besides, this tour includes a visit of St. Peter’s Cathedral.
  • Cocktail and meeting at the personal Studio of Igor Sava, a famous Russian artist in Rome. Watercolor technique and Italian trends in watercolors (including theoretical and practical part).
  • Dinner


  • Master class in drawing at the shore of Tiber river
  • Lunch
    (OPTIONAL): Excursion to the Borghese Gallery (3 hours), including a walk through the Villa (park) and sailing on the lake (OR: Visit to the Gallery of the Barberini or Pamphili)
    Villa Borghese. Being considered as the richest private museum or the “The Empress of private collections“, although it belongs to the state for the latest 100 years. This Villa is a large park – a world known museum under the open sky, famous on a global level. The most valuable items of the gallery is its collection of art: paintings and statues (the paintings of Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, “live” sculptures by Bernini, Canova Paolina…). Those pieces of art were owned by such a noble family that even Napoleon himself became a part of it after his beloved sister had married to a representative of Borghese.
  • Dinner


  • Master class in drawing from the Coliseum or the Capitol (romantic viewpoints, where the famous artists of Rome got inspired)

Lesson on mosaic. Mosaic is considered to be an essential attribute of antiquity; it was widely used for covering the palaces, private houses, thermae (baths), and dining rooms. You will be able to understand better the greatness of the ancient society, if you try to learn this painstaking form of art. Also, mosaic was not forgotten in the Renaissance epoch, it was particularly popular in the Vatican. You will learn that a giant mosaic painting inspired by Caravaggio, Raphael and Leonardo Da Vinci are exhibited there, sometimes being composed of 1.5 billion parts, of 55 000 tons in weight! During the lesson of ancient Roman mosaic we will go to the famous old acting school, the roots of which are coming from Vatican “mosaic laboratories”.  At present, a new generation of that dynasty is successfully restoring the following objects: the Baths of Caracalla, the ancient town of Pompeii, several Roman palaces, early Christian churches, the Roman aquarium, Torlonia and Tevere villas, National Museum of Rome and what not!..  The lesson consists of theoretical and a practical parts (about 2 hours). During the theoretical part, you will learn about the origin of mosaic, its history and development, types and wide variety of colors and variants.


  • A class of independent restoration
  • Visit to a special laboratory of diagnostics and restoration, where we will see how an inspection is carried out, in order to identify the fakes through the analysis of initial layers of the canvas, the techniques of the artist and the identified materials belonging to the period of work of a particular master.
  • Lunch
  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: a visit to the Museum of Criminology
    OR: a walk with a specialist in Piazza Navona and the churches, where are the famous copies of paintings, as a kind of practice
  • Dinner


The art of the “Grand Tour” – Roman castles (8-9 hours including lunch)

  • Trip to the outskirts of the city: excursion and master-class in painting in Roman castles near volcanic lakes.

In the program:

  • The town of Castel Gandolfo, where you will be offered a tasting of unique wines and liqueurs (a dessert made of slightly frozen grapes, liquor’s ancient recipe by Dante). The town is sitting on the edge of the volcanic crater of Albano lake. There are a number of villas of Roman nobility of the past and present, including the most important villa – the summer residence of the Pope. Recently, for the first time since relocation of the Pope to this place in the 17th century, it has been opened for visiting with its apartments and gardens.
  • Nemi – the “Strawberry Capital” of Italy, the place where the strawberry is growing always, 365 days a year. The place of delicious sausages and cheese being made of the wild game from the local woods. Besides, this is another volcanic lake, the waters of which, as if in a mirror, Virgin Diana was looking to, and where Caligula entertained at his giant ships.
  • Climbing to Cavo Mountain (it is the highest mountain in the volcanic chain of 950 m) via the Roman road to the observation point, from which both lakes can be observed, as the “two eyes” among the National Park area. We will visit the ruins of Jupiter Temple and will see the secret pagan idol with the head of a RAM. EXCLUSIVE OFFER: welcome cocktail and visit to the Studio’s of Natalia Tsarkova, an official artist of the Vatican.

Natalia Tsarkova is a portraitist of international level that carries out the orders of the Royal houses, aristocracy, state officials and cardinals. Since the late 1990-ies she has got a title of an official portraitist of the Pope. She is trying to capture both the visual appearance and spiritual essence of the models. Her works are exhibited in Vatican’s palaces, churches and museums all around the world. The exhibition of portraits of the popes in Washington, which was set up in 2005, the portraits of Tsarkova were the only works of a living artist, as the other paintings were by such genius artists of the past as Raphael, Caravaggio and Velázquez. Her portraits of Pope John Paul I and John Paul II became a part of the historical exhibition called “Posing Popes of the Renaissance”. Moreover, the paintings of Natalia even attributed a kind of miraculous properties – one of her works had a wonderful healing from the pain in a fractured arm!..

  • Gala dinner with the Artist.


  • Check-out from the hotel
  • Departure for the airport or continuation of vacation

The Master-Class of Igor Sava

A passion for watercolor and a desire to express the dream that takes shape”
The master-class is aimed to everyone who loves watercolor and would like to deepen the knowledge of its technology



·City skyline

· Getting acquainted with the artist

· Discussion on the materials being used:

o    paper

o    paint

o    brushes

· Discussion on urban landscape:

o    Figure

o    Composition

o    tone, shade

o    color

· Stepwise work:

o    demonstration by the author

o    technical secrets

o    final comments, discussion and recommendations


   Included into the price:

  • Residence in the hotel
  • Meals: half-board (breakfast & dinner)
  • Transfer on the arrival date + during the tour
  • Excursions as per the program
  • Master-classes
  • Guide assistance during the whole trip
  • Bus for the whole group

 Not included into the price:

  • Lunches
  • Additional excursions (indicated as “optional” in the above program)
  • Flight tickets
  • Visa service (if required)
  • Medical Insurance
  • Transfer to the airport on the last day
  • Additional nights to be spent in Rome


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